Tag Archives: no country for old men

The Best Picture Project — Cimarron (1931)

Cimarron (1931 film) poster.jpgDirected by Wesley Ruggles

Screenplay by Howard Estabrook, based upon the novel by Edna Ferber

Starring Richard Dix and Irene Dunne

Here we are friends – after these many, long years together, with you diligently consuming every entry of The Best Picture Project, and me, less-diligently, producing them, we’ve reached the end of the road, where it all comes to an end.  And coming here almost feels bittersweet, like somebody should cue Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, or Boyz II Men’s End of the Road, to play us out.  And don’t worry about neither being appropriate for this occasion, because they’re hardly appropriate for the other occasion for which they are most associated – high school graduations.   If they work there, why not here?

But I digress. Continue reading

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The Also-Rans — Atonement (Best Picture Nominee 2007)

Atonement UK poster.jpgDirected by Joe Wright

Screenplay By Christopher Hampton, based upon the novel by Ian McEwan

Starring James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Benedict Cumberbatch and Juno Temple Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project — Birdman (2014)

Birdman poster.jpgDirected by Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Screenplay by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bó

Starring Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts

In the first half of the 2010s, the Academy the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did an abrupt about face.  For most of the previous decade they’d operated as a body that preferred to give Oscars to faux-important films, e.g. Crash (2005) and The King’s Speech (2010), over truly resonant and moving work, e.g. Brokeback Mountain (2005) and The Social Network.  Then, all at once, AMPAS turned into a group that essentially rewarded itself, giving Oscars to films that threw big, fat self-congratulating kisses on the movie industry and acting in general.

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The Best Picture Project – No Country For Old Men (2007)

No Country For Old Men

Written and Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

From the novel by Cormac McCarthy

Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem and Kelly Macdonald

There was a great debate in my house after watching No Country For Old Men, between me and my almost-14 year-old daughter, about whether No Country For Old Men, your 2007 Best Picture winner, was a more deserving film that what was presumably it’s fiercest competition, There Will Be Blood.  And since she and I both generally agree that There Will Be Blood was the superior film, it’s not really much of a debate. 

Back in late 2006, or early 2007, when I heard that the Coen’s were adapting Cormac McCarthy’s novel I went ahead and bought a copy of the book and read it.  I’d never read anything by McCarthy but figured if the Coen’s felt him worthy of adaptation he couldn’t be all bad.  Unfortunately, McCarthy can be a bit of a difficult writer – his prose is spare, unbroken by quotation marks, and though it might sometimes be ‘lyrical’ it can sometimes feel like a slog.  Continue reading

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